Residents: ‘BTR offers better value than ever’

HomeViews has analysed data from its latest Build to Rent Report, focusing on what residents prefer about the sector.

Apartment living area at Aston Place by Dandara Living – winner of the 2024 HomeViews Resident Choice Award for Large Build to Rent Community | BTR News
Apartment living area at Aston Place by Dandara Living – winner of the 2024 HomeViews Resident Choice Award for Large Build to Rent Community.

Build to Rent residents rated their homes higher in 2023 than any previous year despite steady national price increases for tenants since 2021, according to the new 2024 HomeViews Build to Rent Report.

These higher rating were seen across every rating category for Build to Rent, with Overall Ratings averaging 4.52/5 in 2023, and Value ratings averaging 4.25/5. Little correlation was seen between the pricing of a Build to Rent scheme and its Value rating, indicating that Build to Rent residents are happy to pay more for the customer service focus, strong sense of community, generous onsite facilities and swift maintenance responses that are key to resident satisfaction, according to reviews.

Comparing Build to Rent ratings with ratings from tenants in ‘For Sale’ homes, Build to Rent residents rated their homes higher across every category for the fourth year running. Management ratings were seen to be a key driver and differentiator, showing the most dramatic improvement in 2023.

As the Build to Rent sector has grown, it has also diversified. Single-family housing (SFH) supply has almost trebled since 2018, and HomeViews data shows the format performing well against pure Build to Rent and co-living sub-categories within the Build to Rent sector. Crucially, SFH residents rated their homes higher than residents in other new build housing developments, with Management and Facilities ratings the key drivers.

Although still in its nascency, co-living was seen to be holding its own against the more established pure Build to Rent product, even achieving higher Design and Facilities ratings.

These findings are drawn from the HomeViews 2024 Build to Rent Report, created in partnership with Rightmove. This year’s report analysed over 15,000 verified Build to Rent resident reviews collected over four years and covering 92% of completed rental-only developments in the UK.

“We’re delighted to see Build to Rent achieving the highest resident ratings we’ve ever seen in 2023 – a truly heroic recovery following a difficult period for the entire property industry around 2022. Our findings around Value ratings in particular show that residents are happy to pay a premium where they feel they are getting a premium product. I hope this report helps to improve understanding of the Build to Rent sector, and also perhaps help spread the word on the immensely positive impact Build to Rent is having on both the UK housing industry and its residents.”

Rory Cramer, CEO and Co-Founder, HomeViews

Having acquired HomeViews in February 2024, Rightmove again partnered on the 2024 report, adding comprehensive data on supply and demand in the UK Build to Rent sector and beyond.

Rightmove data showed that, due to limited supply and high demand, UK tenants are looking further afield for their next home – and this is particularly true for those searching for Build to Rent homes. The proportion of long-distance (+50km) inquiries for Build to Rent grew by 8% between January 2019 and January 2024, whilst the PRS grew 2%.

Rightmove data also showed that 28% of people indicated they had heard of ‘Build to Rent’, showing room to grow awareness among prospective renters. Once informed of the concept, 28% of consumers found Build to Rent ‘very appealing’, or ‘appealing’ – offering significant scope to grow awareness and promote the benefits associated with this housing format.

Looking specifically at SFH, 2024 saw a significant rise in this format across the UK in 2024, but particularly notable in the East Midlands, North East and South East. With standalone homes comprising approximately 70% of rental properties across a significant portion of the UK, this emphasises the opportunity for continuous and enhanced investment within the SFH market.

“Our analysis uses millions of Rightmove tenant enquiries across billions of minutes online to contribute the latest and most up to date trends for inclusion in this report, in collaboration with HomeViews. We see tenants looking further and wider for their ideal rental home and, as Build to Rent expands in major cities, it becomes a more readily available option to tenants alongside PRS offerings. The Build to Rent listings we see on Rightmove in 2024 also closely match the type of property that is in demand – the Single-Family Rental offering in particular, showing strong momentum with significant geographical expansion.”

Tim Bannister, Director of Property Science Innovation, Rightmove

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